Miami Shores, Fla.-Lynn University's softball team fell rival Barry (20-13, 9-3) in nine innings for the Friday night opener of a three-game Sunshine State Conference series. Lynn falls to 18-22 overall and 4-14 in SSC play. Five Fighting Knights had multi-hit games while Missy Montgomery allowed four earned runs over the course of seven innings.
Danielle McNeill led off the game with a walk and would later score when Kaci Vassallo singled to left field on 0-2 count to give Lynn a 1-0 lead. The Bucs answered back in the bottom of the inning when Kayla Ogle scored on an infield hit by Brito to knot the game at 1-all.
The Blue & White added two runs on four hits in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. Crystal Cano led off the inning with a double to right field. Leanne Wright singles to right field which moved Cano to third. Cydney Schmidt then singles to right field which advanced the runners and scored Cano easily. McNeill singled through the left side to load the bases for Devin Kochergen with no outs. Kochergen flied into right field and the Barry defense would field a triple play but not before Wright could score Lynn's second run of the inning.
The Fighting Knights added a run in the fourth inning when McNeill singled to right field scoring Sara Vazquez. BU's Kristina Pazlenza singled up the middle to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. Ashley Fernandez would reach safely on a fielders choice as the next batter but a throwing error by Montgomery would advance the base runners to second and third with no outs. Four consecutive balls to Camille Czarnecki by Montgomery would load the bases for the Buccaneers with no outs.
Pazlenza was caught stealing home for the first out of the inning but Alexis Kent singled to left field as the next batter scoring Fernandez to cut Lynn's lead to one. Ogle singled up the middle with two outs to score Barry's second run of the inning to trail 4-3 heading into the fifth inning.
Barry loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning but Montgomery got Julie Brito to fly out to centerfield with a 1-2 count to end the inning.
The Fighting Knights scored an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning. Kasey Murray singled to left field and then stole second with one out to start the Blue & White's rally. Vassallo singled to left field putting Murray at third. Barry's catcher, Alexis Kent, sent the ball into right field when she attempted to pick off Vassallo at first base. The error would score Murray easily putting Lynn ahead 5-3.
Murray made the move to the mound in relief in the bottom of the eighth and was able to fan the last two Bucs to end a threat with runners in the corners. There was much hope for the Blue & White in the top of the ninth when Vassallo hit a lead off single to left field but Barry's Pazienza would retire the next three Fighting Knights to send the game into the bottom of the ninth.
Back-to-back singles by Kent and Martinez would place the game-winning run at first. Kochergen caught a fouled off bunt behind the plate for the first out but Murray would walk the next two batters, including the game-winning run on four straight balls to Hunter Mars to end the game.
Vassallo led Lynn's offense going 3-for-5 at the plate with one run batted in. Montgomery tossed seven innings allowing five runs, four earned, while striking out a pair of Buccaneers. Barry's Ogle had a game-high five hits while scoring one run with an RBI.
The two will face off Saturday, April 5, for the final two games of the three-game set. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 12:00 p.m. Fans can follow the action live at LynnFightingKnights.com. Don't forget to 'Like' us on Facebook and follow @LUKnights on Twitter and Instagram.